Light on Earth: Marco Brianza

By Alessandro Trabucco

 

In the impressionist painting the representation of natural light – and of its changes in luminous intensity during the day — was one of the main subjects in the works of its main painters. The impressionist artist gave up his study and the historical themes or genre to focus his attention on the middle-class life and above all on nature, in order to catch its colours and atmosphere “live”.

The canvases painted by the great artist Claude Monet toward the end of the nineteenth century are very famous: for example the Cathedral of Rouen, depicted from the same point of view and at every hour of the day, thus documenting the changes in the colour temperature right on the facade of the church. A sort of study of optics and chromatology performed with no special equipment but only through subjective observation.

Claude Monet -Rouen Cathedral Facade and Tour AlbaneIClaude Monet - La Cathedrale de Rouen Le Portail et la tour Saint-Romain, plein soleil

Claude Monet – Rouen Cathedral Facade and Tour d’Albanel e La Cathédrale de Rouen Le Portail et la tour Saint-Romain, plein soleil

Similarly, in his photographic series titled Light on Earth, artist Marco Brianza – an education in information technology – performed a series of pictures documenting the changes in light intensity of a particular subject in different moments throughout the 24 hours of the day/night cycle (which can last one hour or even one full day). But his pictures, on the contrary, were not interpreted subjectively through his own perspective but rather by means of advanced technologies: a digital camera and a very unique software he has developed for this purpose.

The artist has a deep knowledge of all the technical aspects of his expressive language, and is able to create with his own hands and natural ability the tools he needs to get the best results, for this reason his ideal provides clear evidence of his actual capacity: Marco Brianza embodies this example perfectly.

Marco Brianza - One day skyMarco Brianza - One day horizonMarco Brianza - One hour brickwallMarco Brianza - Sunset in my studio

Light on Earth investigates natural light and its changes, but the peculiarity of this project is the composition of each image, made up of vertical strips with a variable width measured in pixel and extracted by the software in a very specific area determined by the artist himself and of a number of shots which varies depending on the total shooting time and the time interval between a shot and the next one.

This way the artist gets a final image that is actually made up of a repeated sequence of the same detail, though with its own linear temporal development from left to right, rebuilding and returning, even if only apparently, the physiognomy and the spatial dimension of the subject itself.

Marco Brianza - Black HorizonMarco Brianza - 2 hours parquetMarco Brianza - Candlelight variationsMarco Brianza - 100 minutes sea

Marco Brianza’s picture “100 minutes sea”, 2010

The work “100 minutes sea” effectively represents the similarity, even if only apparent, of the series Light on Earth to an impressionist or post-impressionist painting (the so-called pointillism), developed in the late nineteenth century by the greatest French artists of the time.

In this case the effect of these very small spots or, electronically speaking, the “pixelated” effect is given by two specific factors: the first is a technical one, the second is purely “subjective” (in the meaning of constitutive of the represented subject).

The image composition is only made of vertical strips with a quite narrow even though variable width, put side by side in a digital assembly. The bright reflections and the ripples on the sea’s surface add a particular perception, as if the variations in colour and light were scanned horizontally, accentuating the visual sensation of a mosaic technique.

Marco Brianza isolates a single detail from the entire picture (we call it “module” for the sake of convenience), that represents only a tiny part of the photographed subject: as a consequence the module becomes abstract and unrecognizable. The controlled repetition of this single detail creates a new image, reconstructed by the software and recognized by the human eye as a finite set, because it is made up of the difference that natural light variation lends to each module.

 

IMAGES

All images courtesy of the artist

“One day sky”, 2010
Digital image processing
Duratrans print, LED backlight
cm 33 x 144 x 1,5

“One day horizon”, 2010
Digital image processing
Duratrans print, LED backlight
cm 33 x 144 x 1,5

“One hour brickwall”,2010
Digital image processing
Duratrans print, LED backlight
cm 33 x 90 x 1,5

“Sunset in my studio”, 2010
Digital image processing
Duratrans print, LED backlight
cm 33 x 144 x 1,5

“Black Horizon”, 2010
Digital image processing
Duratrans print, LED backlight
cm 33 x 90 x 1,5

“2 hours parquet”, 2010
Digital image processing
Duratrans print, LED backlight
cm 33 x 90 x 1,5

“Candlelight variations”, 2010
Digital image processing
Duratrans print, LED backlight
cm 33 x 144 x 1,5

“100 minutes sea”, 2010
Digital image processing
Duratrans print, LED backlight
cm 33 x 90 x 1,5

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